I wonder if I need to see an emergency dentist. My wisdom teeth hurt so much I can’t even eat. Plus, they’re swollen. I’ve had them get swollen before, but this seems worse than normal.
Celeste – Cincinnati, Ohio
The important things about wisdom teeth are how they come in and how much space is available for them. Wisdom teeth can be problematic because there generally isn’t a lot of room for them. They push the other teeth out of the way and by shifting everything, it becomes difficult to clean between all the teeth. It’s also very hard to keep wisdom teeth clean, especially when they’re still partially covered by the gums. Sometimes, the gums will lift up just enough to allow food and bacteria in and it becomes trapped. This can result in localized infections and tooth decay,
“Normal” pain from wisdom teeth can manifest itself in a lot of ways. Sometimes all the teeth in the arch hurt because they’re all being pushed. Other times, it’s localized to the one area. People may also experience sinus, jaw, and ear pain, among other things.
You didn’t mention whether you’re already under the care of a general dentist. If so, they should likely have recommended you have your wisdom teeth taken out due to the recurrent pain. However, now that you’re noticing warning signs like swollen gums, it sounds like it could be turning into an infection.
Also, if the pain is so bad that you can’t eat, something is very wrong. Either of these symptoms scream for an emergency dentist. If you don’t have a general dentist who can get you in soon. If it’s an infection, you need to be seen today.
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